FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) - The massive spending bill that Congress approved last week includes funding for a new polar icebreaker, spending that Alaska's three-member congressional delegation has been pushing for.
The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the funding includes $655 million for designing and building the icebreaker for the U.S. Coast Guard, as well as $20 million for materials to eventually build a second one.
The measure also directs $740 million for new cutters, with six that will be based in Alaska.
It also provides $53 million for cutter support facilities in the state, with $22 million going to Kodiak and $31 million to Seward.
Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski says the passage of the spending bill is a "significant step in the right direction to an icebreaker fleet."